Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sporty Saturday

Saturday, the 17th, was another busy day. We had a soccer game, a swim meet and then Ella sang at a tree lighting ceremony that evening.
Addie's soccer game was up first and she brought Tico, the class stuffed animal, with her. Tico picked a good weekend to visit our family! We had plenty of adventures to journal about by the time it was over.
It was super chilly when we woke up and Addie had her first early game of the season so we bundled up in hats, scarves and coats and headed out. Once we got there and were sitting in the sun we started peeling off layers though and it ended up being very pleasant out. Addie had an awesome stop as goaly and did great at participating and running around until her last turn in the game. By then she was ready to head home :-).
Mike took Ella to her swim meet that afternoon. It was another short one and the two events were the 100m Freestyle and the 100m IM. This was her first time swimming either one and doing flip turns in a meet so we were pleased with how well she did! There were a lot of DQs but she successfully finished them both. She is a swimming machine now :-).
my friend Laura made this cute owl hat for Preston
her stop!
from the week before and Ad getting creative after the game...
soccer 1
100M Freestyle
time: 1:57.64 (11th/31)
she is in the 3rd lane from the top

100M IM
time: 2:10.51 (10th/26)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Someone Knows My Name

Someone Knows My NameSomeone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't remember where I heard about this book or what prompted me to choose it from my long list of "to-reads" when I was last ordering books, but I loved it! It has been quite awhile since I had time to escape into a great book and during my traveling for Thanksgiving I finally had the opportunity and am so glad this is the one I chose to do so in.
The author tells a vivid tale of a young girl growing up happily in northern Africa in the mid-1700s when she is stolen by slave traders and brought across the Atlantic to South Carolina. She lives an extraordinary life, so full of hardships and devastation but also of hope and good fortune. I loved Aminata, the main character. She was brave, intelligent, loving, independent, loyal and sometimes too trusting. I found myself constantly thinking about her even when I wasn't reading it. Even though she is a fictional character, I know similar people existed and my heart broke for her as a young girl alone on the slave ship, again as she faced injustices time and time again, and the most when her family continued to be torn from her life.
It made me think a lot about the complex history of the slave trade from Africa. Could it have been prevented? Could it have stopped sooner? What would Africa have been like had it never been exploited? What would the history in our own country have been like had it all gone differently? Could the settlements in Africa where freed slaves were brought back been set up in a way that would have eased the transition? Liberia is still such a disaster now and it seems we should have learned something from those early settlements in Sierra Leone.
I SO wish I could suggest this book for my book club because I think the discussion could be amazing! There are just a couple moments that I think may be a bit too much for some of our members, even though the author did a good job of handling them in a delicate way. I am sure much of the truth from that time was much worse.
My favorite review says, "A magnificent, epic novel...Aminata Diallo is one of the great heroines of modern literature, and her story is not only heartstopping and brutal, but also one of great humanity."

View all my reviews

Friday, November 23, 2012

The End of an Era

Last week was the opening night of the last Twilight movie. Of course, after going to the midnight showing of the other 4 I HAD to go to this one too. I really was not looking forward to staying up that late, and was pleasantly surprised that it started at 10pm this year...thank you! We headed to the Alamo to feast while we watched and had fun with most of the crew who attended all the others together. The beginning of the movie was terrible and had us all worried, but it did get better as it went on. I wonder if Stephenie Meyer wishes she could go back and do it all again but pick a different actress to play Bella...like one that can actually act. Oh well :-). I am very proud of how far we have all come since the very first showing when we were crazed obsessed fans...well, maybe that was mostly me! It's been a fun ride!
Here is a look back over the years:
2008 for Twilight.
We were slightly excited, as was most of the nation and especially the teenage girls in our theater!
2009 was New Moon and we were getting better, but still a little weird :-).
This was also our first time at the Alamo and we never went any other way...it was the way to go!
2010 with Eclipse they did a summer release
 and I missed out on the fun, but went as soon as I could sporting my Edward shirt for fun!
By 2011 for Breaking Dawn part 1,
 I was feeling over it a bit, but there was a huge group of us and that was fun.
And this year, for Breaking Dawn part 2.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cute Clothes, Family Friends, Talented Hope

During this busy photography season I have really felt like I have been able to stay on top everything by some miracle. I was getting my shoots edited fast, keeping up on our own family pictures, making it to all the kids' activities and keeping the house somewhat in shape. Of course, I haven't worked out or eaten very healthy but something has gotta give. And then there is the laundry. I wash it all but folding it or ironing it and getting it put away is another story. So, the past couple days I have mostly stayed away from the computer and worked on that in between errands. It's been a blast :-)! But it's done and now I have today to get to work editing shoots before our fun Thanksgiving plans.
So, here is some catching up from last week.
Mike grew up with Josh, who has been on the blog before. He and his sweet family have been living in Houston the past 5 years while he was in school and they are now done and moving away. Although we didn't see them tons over the years because schedules are crazy, we did try to get together every now and then and were able to attend baby blessings, baptisms, etc. It was such a special treat to have him and Stephanie and Eli be a part of those special memories in our lives. Good luck in Washington guys!
(and I don't know what happened with the girls' outfits this day...sometimes it's scary what they come up with left on their own in the closet, and yesterday Preston was pretty particular about what he wore as well, oh the fun!)
the kids all took turns taking pictures of us
Tuesday night Ella and I headed straight from the pool to Hope's concert. She just finished marching band season and sang some songs with the jazz band. She sounded awesome and looked beautiful. I think she starts back up with the bassoon again now. Band is a whole other culture that I never knew existed :-).
we found these glasses on the floor...Ella loves glasses lately

And a few of Preston with his buddy Bennett. Ian joined us later on for a bit and since those are his two favorite friends, he was in heaven!